An Invitation to Tea
PRESIDENT KENNEDY WAS RIGHT to envy William Turner
Levy, who, in the last ten years of Eleanor Roosevelt’s life,
became one of her closest and dearest friends. They first met in
the spring of 1953. At the time William Turner Levy was a
young Episcopalian priest and faculty member in the English
department at the City College of New York, his alma mater. He
had written to Mrs. Roosevelt about his purchase of memorabilia
from the collection of the late President Roosevelt and of his
desire to learn more about some of the pieces. She, in response,
had invited him to tea. It was the beginning of a friendship that
lasted until her death.
“WON’T YOU COME IN?” Eleanor Roosevelt said with a warm smile, raising her eyebrows delicately, and speaking in that distinctive, enthusiastic voice I had always known, but had never before heard directed to myself. She seized my hand in welcome.